by Dawn Thorfinnson
I first learned of Powers' existence a few weeks ago as I sat along the bar at McCourt’s, making small talk with the bartender and Powers guitarist, Dave Arredondo. I learned then that not only is he typically a bassist, but so is their other guitarist, Kelly Houchen.
Even more interesting than that instrument trade is their drummer, Jordan Elfers, who specializes in the trombone. Of the four band members, only the bassist, Jason Morris, has remained on his primary instrument.
I walked into their Modelo-, High Life- and Red Bull-strewn basement practice space Sunday night slightly apprehensive but still intrigued. I had concerns that maybe they were too far from their instrumental comfort zones to produce songs above a novice level, but they quickly killed my uncertainty. The few songs I heard were well-composed, harmonious and upbeat.
I held a brief Q&A session with them during their smoke break so I could learn a little bit more about their history as a band and as musicians. Powers plays their first show tonight with Demos and The Vingins at Knickerbockers starting at 9.
Hear Nebraska: How many songs do you have finalized and ready for your show Friday?
Dave Arredondo: Seven? It feels like a lot!
Kelly Houchen: We dropped a couple.
DA: Our first set will be just six songs.
KH: There’s a bunch of other stuff on the back burner but we’re just getting ready for the show. By a bunch, I mean two. (Laughs)
HN: What is your normal songwriting process?
Jordan Elfers: We take a mean shit on it (laughs)!
KH: We all do it, someone comes in with a riff and we finish it.
DA: Jordy says, "Hey, you should play it like this," (weird noises) and then we go from there.
JE: I can’t play it, but I can mouth it!
HN: Do you currently have any songs recorded?
JE: Shitty, shitty, shitty gross.
DA: Yeah, very rough. We have those mics down there; we just turn them down and put them on the guitar and on the drums/bass.
KH: It’s because when we first started practicing, we’d write shit and think it was awesome but then when we came back, we couldn’t remember what it was.
DA: Hopefully, we’ll get a few demo tracks in the next few months but we are just focusing on writing right now.
HN: How did all of you meet?
JE: Well, we all work at Bison Wiches.
Jason Morris: That’s the easiest way to explain it.
JE: Dave and I moved in together on accident six to seven years ago.
HN: Where is everyone from originally?
JE: Wayne, Nebraska.
DA: I’m from around (laughs). I’ve been in Lincoln seven years but came here from Texas.
JM: Kelly and I are both from Lincoln.
HN: Where did the name Powers originate?
JE: We were trying to get a name forever. We had some really good ones, all of us, but someone always found something wrong with it. Then Kelly and I were playing video games before practice and was really excited about the amount of powers that I got.
DA: I just showed up and they’re like, “We’re calling ourselves Powers!” I said, “All right!”
HN: Jordy, did you ever take any drum lessons?
JE: Well, I’ve played drums on a desk since I was 14 (laughs). No.
KH: He’s really good at it.
HN: What kind of impression do you want to leave the crowd with after your show?
DA: I hope they all poop their pants! (Laughs)
JE: That’d be fun. I want it to be loud. I bought a drum set so it would be loud. Drunk, I hope. Well, happy, not drunk. I don’t want anyone to punch me in the face after the show.